Notes: The 2010 Mazda CX-7 appears to share the same engine defects as the three previous model years: VVT/timing chain failure & turbo failure. The timing chain failure is especially bad with many cars requiring an engine replacement ($9,000+).

In 2011, Mazda began a "Special Service Program" that extended the warranty to 7 years/70,000 miles covering excessive timing chain noise — an early sign of timing chain failure. However coverage under the program requires perfect documentation of all required maintenance with other stipulations. Buyer beware.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,411 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2010 Mazda CX-7 engine problems

engine problem

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2010 Mazda CX-7 Owner Comments

problem #12

Apr 172016


  • 108,000 miles


Was driving and all of a sudden lost power and a howling noise no check engine light came on. Pulled over to see what it was and nothing visible no leaks nothing. Had my wife hit the has and no noise. Stared driving and noise came back and white smoke. Just had an oil change done and next oil change due in about 1000 miles. Drove about 20 mph to get home check oil and it was ok. The white smoke makes me think the turbo went on my car. I just purchased this car in October of 2015. It's been back to the shop for electric problems with the key and radio that still not resolved. Radio shuts off and beeps that key is not in car.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #11

Apr 022016


  • 65,000 miles
Takata recall. My complaint is why there has not been a recall on the turbo charger for my vehicle. I was driving my car and the entire cabin filled with smoke that I had to pull off the road. I had to roll down all the windows because the it was so bad and thought the engine was on fire. This is not safe to have this happen. I've googled this and there are many complaints on replacement happening twice. This should be covered because I've kept my maintenance up and just did oil and fluids changed and have to have it done again because the oil leaked into the turbo charger. This is costing me $2,460 for repair and don't think I should have to pay for this fatal problem. I expecting coverage on this and will be contacting my lawyer.

- Papillion, NE, USA

problem #10

Sep 012014

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
After I have come to a stop the check engine light and tcs/dsc indicator light illuminate. My car remains on but when I push on the gas throttle my car does not go anywhere. I have to turn off my car for a minute or so and then restart before I can drive. This had happen 4 times now (in a 2 month time frame). It usually happens when I am at a stop light and do not have a way to get off of the road. The check engine light stays on for a day or so and then goes away. Then it will happen again. I have been driving on the road when this has happened and had to pull off quickly on the side of the road. This is very dangerous! I have an appointment with a Mazda dealership to have it looked at.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #9

Sep 032014


  • 52,000 miles


On 8/31/14 I noticed a rattling noise when I accelerated as well as a whining noise. The noise was intermittent and did not occur all the time, but was a distinct noise coming from underneath the vehicle. I had not had any check engine lights illuminated or any other warning lights. I brought my vehicle into my local Mazda dealership and they advised it was the turbo and in order access appropriately they would need to tear down the engine. After reading online there are numerous documented issues with turbos, vvt timing chains and engine issues with Mazda CX7. The shop called me back 2 days after I dropped it off and said I would need to replace the turbo & I need a new engine. They also stated since there was oil sludge present that I would be responsible for $9000 costs. I provided the dealership my oil change receipts including the last oil change that was done in June. My car was still within 3000 miles and was not due a oil change, however the owners manual stipulates recommended changes every 7000 miles!! the dealership advised that when I brought it in no oil was in the dipstick and because there was sludge Mazda is denying my powertrain warranty (which is still active) due to not maintaining the vehicle. This is absurd, I have maintained my vehicle and Mazda is using this as an excuse to not be responsible for a obvious defect in their vehicle!!! there are many documented instances about this same scenario happening with others all over the internet, this issue is a result of a defective turbo and not due to lack of maintenance. Mazda extended turbos and vvt timing chain issues to 7 years because of this same scenario for 2007-2010 Mazda cx7S but when I asked about ssp 86 im being told my vehicle does not qualify. I would like to know why Mazda can get away with not abiding to their warranty and request this be investigated. Thank you

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #8

Jul 122014

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
While driving on the turnpike my car started to make a whining noise then smoke came from tail pipes. After having it looked at the turbo charger has gone bad!

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #7

May 092014

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 25,397 miles
A flapping sound developed in the engine compartment while traveling on interstate 35W. Battery light came on and loss of power steering. Exited the freeway to a parking lot. Opened the hood and the broken engine belt was wrapped around the engine pulley only, with shredded pieces of it stuck throughout the engine compartment. Towed to a repair shop and was diagnosed to have a faulty belt tensioner and/or belt was not installed correctly at the factory. Contacted Mazda usa and was advised that it is not covered under the basic 3 year/36000 miles warranty or the power train 5 year/60000 miles warranty.

- Shoreview, MN, USA

problem #6

Jun 112013


  • 33,500 miles


When driving with the A/C on, the ECM seems to malfunction and increase the speed of the car when the ac compressor turns on. If you are in the process of braking, the car will not stop and it will require the driver to press harder on the brakes. The car gets and extra boost of energy and even though you are braking, the car lunges forward and continues to roll further. If the driver is caught off guard, this will lead to an accident. I crashed my car into a family members house as I was parking. Luckily, the parking bumper slowed down the car enough so as to only slightly bump the house. It has happened in regular traffic as well. Luckily, I keep a safe distance from cars and brake early but now I brake even earlier just in case. Volkswagen had the same problem and they did a large recall on the vehicle because of the safety issue it involves. If you own a Cx-7 keep an eye out for this, especially when the A/C is on. It only happens when the timing is just right that you are braking and the compressor turns on a that precise moment so it will catch you off guard and scare the daylights out of you. I've been lucky so far but this could definitely cause major damage if not recalled in order to fix. Here is the info from a recall from Volkswagen. Volkswagen is recalling approximately 4,000 of its cars. The automaker will fix engine control module software that can trigger an unexpected increase in engine RPM, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "these vehicles have an engine control module containing software that may not properly control engine idle with the air-conditioning turned on, " NHTSA said in its summary of the problem. "in rare cases, the ECM may unexpectedly increase engine RPM. An engine surge caused by an unexpected increase in engine RPM may surprise the vehicle operator and can result in a crash without warning."

- Hialeah, FL, USA

problem #5

Apr 092010

CX-7 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Mazda Cx-7. the contact stated that after the engine was started, there was a rattling noise coming from under the engine. The vehicle was taken to the dealer at least ten times who replaced the motor mounts, ring seal, converter, gasket and main pipe, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 1,000 and the current mileage was 27,000. Updated 4/11/13 the consumer stated the remote key would not work at times. Updated 04/18/13

- Edmonds, WA, USA

problem #4

Apr 092010

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
I purchase the Mazda CX7 on March 20 2010. Within 3 weeks I notice a rattling noise from the engine when start up the car. I took it to 2 different local Mazda dealers over 8 times since purchase and they replaced 3 motor mount but the problem still exist. This year I took it to the dealer twice and they refused to fix it. They wouldn't even schedule an appointment to look at my car. My car is still under warranty. I took my car to 2 different certified mechanics and they both acknowledge that the rattling noise does exist.I need help fixing this problem. I read online and saw lots of complaint about this problem. Some were able to get it resolve but they wouldn't fix my issue.

- Edmonds, WA, USA

problem #3

Feb 112013


  • 50,100 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Mazda CX7. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, he heard a loud whining noise and was unable to accelerate the vehicle. The contact also stated that the turbo failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the turbo needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 50,100.

- Midland, TX, USA

problem #2

Nov 252012

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 37,530 miles
2010 CX7 grand touring was purchased with 5,844 miles from dealer. We changed the oil & filter every 6,000 miles using recommended oil as shown in the owners manual (5W20). Manual recommendation is to change oil every 7,500 miles with normal driving conditions which is the case as my wife drove to and from work. At 37,000 miles, vehicle was started in 20deg F. temps, warmed up for and experienced loud engine knock. Once driven, vehicle had no power and had troubles getting to hwy speed. Drove the vehicle to the dealer where we purchased it the next day and was informed the engine had excessive engine oil sludge under the oil filler cap. Service dept. Called me the next day and said they would need to pull the valve cover to investigate further to see if Mazda national would cover under warranty. We agreed since we properly maintained the vehicle and had nothing to hide. Two days later we received a call from the dealer and were informed there was excessive sludge and they would need to see receipts from where we changed our oil. We performed our own oil changes and did not keep receipts from the auto parts store where we purchased the oil. Dealer said without the receipts we would not get warranty work done and charged us $260 to do the investigation to better their case. I called national Mazda and all they did was read the notes from the dealer and were not willing to budge. The rep from Mazda ([xxx]) was extremely rude and could care less we were experiencing major issues with a car within the warranty. There are numerous claims similar to ours all over the internet. It appears Mazda has their standard "excessive engine sludge" pitch down as this is the common theme in all CX7 engine problems. We had the engine rebuilt at a local shop (paid $6,100) and now are told the turbo is shot as well which is estimated at another $2,000 to replace.

- Crystal, MN, USA

problem #1

Oct 032012

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 39,400 miles
On October 4 2012 I was told by the Mazda dealer service dept that my timing chain and turbo charger on my 2010 Mazda CX7 went bad and needed to be replaced. My vehicle only has 39400 miles on it and should be covered under Mazda power train warranty. I was told by Mazda warranty department that they would not pay for anything based on sludge build up in the engine. I sent them copies of oil change maintenance as they requested which were done at aprox every 3400 miles as opposed to the required 7500miles. I was told then that they would cover only the timing chain replacement because it was on a recall and that the turbo charger would not be covered at all. They came to this conclusion due to the turbo going bad due to an outside influence what is that I asked and they had no answer. The answer I was given is it will not be covered under warranty and that is that and I have basically no recourse.there is clearly a problem with these CX7 as there are so many similar complaints all over the internet and yet Mazda refuses to pay on these part that should be covered under the powertrain warranty 6yrs/60,000 miles. The car gets too hot and burns the oil and that is what causes the sludge a manufactures defect not neglect on oil change and filter maintenance. Other Mazda owner have the same result whether they oil changed at 3000, 4000, or the required 7500 how can we all have sludge in the engine. Obviously there is a manufacturers defect regarding this entire turbo system. Mazda needs to own up to the defects regarding the CX7 models and honor the customers warranty work. The car has so many problems that they are presently not making it anymore. I do not have the money to layout and wait to be reimbursed possibly by Mazda in the future this is a disgrace. I will never drive another Mazda vehicle again and I will not ever recommend them to any one.

- Oceanside, NY, USA

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